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Graphic Novels, Comics, and Manga

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Jessica Abel's easy-to-follow, two-page introduction to comics is a perfect way to get acquainted with this increasingly popular medium. For more detailed and in-depth resources on how to read, draw, and find graphic novels, comics, and manga, take a look at our resources below.

About graphic novels, comics, and manga

Overviews

Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud (PN6710 .M335 1994): Essential reading for understanding the depth and complexity of the comics medium

Graphic Novels and Comic Books, edited by Kat Kan (PN6710 .G735 2010): "The articles collected in this volume provide an overview of this wildly diverse, increasingly popular, and widely accepted form of literature." --Editor's preface

No Flying No Tights: Comics 101 provides definitions, how to read comics, resources for teachers and librarians, along with an overview of Japanese Manga

History

Comic Books as History: The Narrative Art of Jack Jackson, Art Spiegelman, and Harvey Pekar, by Joseph Witek (PN6725 .W58 1989): In this study Joseph Witek examines the rise of the comic book to a position of importance in modern culture and assesses its ideological and historical implications.

Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books, by Jean-Paul Gabilliet; translated by Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen (PN6725 .G3313 2010): Documents the rise and development of the American comic book industry from the 1930s to the present

Critical Studies

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies: A peer-reviewed, open access journal dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of comics and related media, published by the English Department at the University of Florida with support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Critical studies can also be found in library databases. The two below include publications related to art, literature, and popular culture. Search using terms like, comic books, graphic novels, manga, or search individual artists, writers, titles or genres.

Academic Search Complete

JSTOR

Making graphic novels, comics, and manga

Drawing Words & Writing Pictures: Making Comics, Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond, by Jessica Abel & Matt Madden (NC1764 .A24 2008) "Drawing Words and Writing Pictures is a course on comic creation that centers on storytelling and concludes with making a finished comic. With chapters on lettering, story structure, and panel layout, the fifteen lessons offered – each complete with homework, extra credit activities and supplementary reading suggestions – provide a solid introduction for people interested in making their own comics. Additional resources, lessons, and after-class help are available on the accompanying website, www.dw-wp.com."(-publisher's description)

My Manga World, by Jeannie Lee (NC1764.5.J3 L44 2009) "An illustrated, step-by-step guide to drawing manga, discussing materials, basic shapes, shading, and composition, offering instruction on how to draw heads, hair, facial features, male and female figures, and different body types. Includes a review of bais manga principles, as well as a quiz and other tips on how to decide what kind of manga to create"

Finding graphic novels, comics, and manga

In the library

Graphic novels and manga can be found in different areas of the library depending on the subject matter of the book. You can find everything from a Manga Guide to Linear Algebra to an account of the Holocaust to a biography of Malcolm X.

If you know what you are looking for, try searching the library catalog with the title or author. You might also try searching "graphic novels" or "comic books strips etc".

If you're looking for something fun to read, you can browse the section PN6700 which is where a large part of our collection is located.

Your local comic book store

Comic Shop Locator: Just put in your zipcode and find the closest comic shop to you.

Reviews of graphic novels, comics, and manga

Comics Worth Reading: Reviews by Joanna Draper and friends. The longest-running independent review site online that covers all genres of comic books, including graphic novels, indy, alternative, manga, superheroes, and mainstream.

No Flying, No Tights: Reviews graphic novels, comics, and manga for kids, teens, and adults. Focus is on titles outside of the superhero genre.

Diamond BookShelf Graphic Novel Reviews: Presents a list of graphic novel reviews, courtesy of Industry Professional Katie Monnin, as well as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal. 

Comic Book Resources: News, reviews, and columns by artists, writers, and industry insiders.

New York Times--Graphic Novels: Includes reviews, news, and bestseller lists.

Manga Bookshelf: A multi-blog network featuring discussion, news, and reviews of English-translated Japanese comics. Also provides coverage of topics such as anime adaptations, gaming, films, live-action dramas, online fandom, Korean manhwa, Chinese manhua and more.

Additional Resources

Africomics.com: The Black Superhero and Comic Book Portal. A great starting point for finding comics created by Black writers and artists and featuring Black characters.

Prism Comics: A nonprofit organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) comics, creators, and readers.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: A non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium.